Did Alec Baldwin know gun might misfire? Actor IGNORED 'golden rule' of gun safety

Experts have said that the gun should should never have been loaded with live ammunition in the first place


                            Did Alec Baldwin know gun might misfire? Actor IGNORED 'golden rule' of gun safety
Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin when a prop gun in New Mexico (Halyna Hutchins/Instagram and Alec Baldwin/Instagram)

Experts have claimed that Alec Baldwin ignored the golden rule of gun safety by pointing the prop at someone, and also said the gun should never have been loaded with live ammunition in the first place. "There should have never been live rounds on a movie set, that's number one. Number two is every single person on a movie set has a right to inspect a weapon before it's fired. And number three is, there is no reason to ever put a person in front of a weapon that's firing," Zak Knight, a pyrotechnic and special effects engineer who is a member of Local 44, said.

Halyna Hutchins, a Ukrainian who worked as a director of photography in Hollywood films, was identified as the woman shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin with a prop gun in New Mexico. Hutchins, who called herself a "restless dreamer", died when a prop gun discharged. She was the director of photography for Baldwin’s film 'Rust'.

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"Anytime you see a movie where the barrel is pointed down the camera lens, there should not be an operator behind it. It's obvious that the considerations of this resulted in that gun being pointed directly at two people. We would have additionally had a barrier between them. A large number of people failed to do our protocols... every accident is a cascade of events," Knight told DailyMail. "Whatever happened in the moments leading up to her death, Knight said it was caused by a 'cascade of failures' by multiple people. 'We have a hard and fast rule that no live ammunition ever goes into a prop truck or set at any time. We just don't do it. If you see bullets on set they are complete dummy rounds and are in no way functional. This goes back to Brandon Lee. There's protocol.' Lee was killed in a similar incident when another actor shot him with a prop gun that was loaded with live ammunition while filming The Crow in 1993."

Knight said the accident may have been caused because of different gun laws between New Mexico and California. A trained armorer and a prop master are mandatorily required on a film set in California. These are also the standards the union adheres to. "You will find the best and most well-trained individuals in Los Angeles. You can't guarantee that as you go across the country," Knight said. Claiming that he has been told by others nvolved in the production that there was a walk-out," Knight said, "It's very possible that the union members said 'we're out', and they brought in people to fill the positions on the fly. There's a lot of grey area." 

A Santa Fe prop master said the tragedy could have been avoided if the gun had been checked before being handed over to Baldwin. "If they'd done their job checking the weapon this wouldn't have happened. You show the assistant director the weapon, you show the actor the weapon, you show everybody it's a safe weapon. There's a big chain of command that missed an opportunity to save a life," the prop master told DailyMail.

Reportedly, hours before the tragedy, the film crew had walked out of the set after firearms were accidentally discharged three times. This once even happened by Baldwin's stunt double, who had apparently been told that the firearm was not loaded. Firearms were accidentally discharged two other times in a closed cabin. Assistant director Dave Halls reportedly handed over the gun to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded and instead claiming that it was safe to be used. Seconds later, the prop gun killed Halyna Hutchins.